Ukraine claims responsibility for Crimea bridge bombing
The Security Service of Ukraine has come out and declared that it was behind the attack that targeted the Crimean Bridge in October.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), in a revelation that might not come as a surprise to many, claimed responsibility for a sabotage operation that caused significant damage to the Russian-made Kerch Bridge connecting Crimea with Russia last year.
The head of the SBU, Vasyl Malyuk, made this announcement on Wednesday during a television appearance where he was commemorating wartime special forces operations with the unveiling of a new commemorative postage stamp.
Malyuk revealed a series of operations conducted by the SBU, with some being announced only after Ukraine achieves victory in the war, though others will never see the light of day.
The cream of the crop of his announcement was the revelation that the SBU had a hand in the explosion that shook the Kerch bridge last year.
The Kerch Bridge spans 19 kilometers (12 miles) across the Kerch Strait. It serves as the sole direct link between Russia's transportation network and Crimea. The bridge's construction was a prestigious project for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who personally inaugurated it with great fanfare in 2018 by driving a truck across its length.
The explosion that occurred in October severely damaged the bridge, and Russian authorities initially attributed it to a truck explosion while crossing, which tragically claimed the lives of three people. However, Ukraine's recent revelation points to a deliberate act of sabotage as the cause behind the destruction.
The head of the Russian Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, said Ukrainian special services' involvement in the planning of a terrorist act on the Crimean bridge was confirmed during an investigation into the tragic incident.
Bastrykin added that there were Ukrainians, Russians, Armenians, and Georgians at the scene, and among them were those who provided a transit channel for the transportation of various goods to Russia, aiming to later transport a truck bomb across the state border.
Bastrykin had told Russian President Vladimir Putin about the preliminary results of the investigation into the terrorist act that targeted the Crimean bridge, and Putin announced at the time that the test data, in addition to operational information, indicate that the explosion on the Crimean bridge is a terrorist act.
Putin added that the attack aims to destroy Russia's vital civilian infrastructure, and it is also clear that agents, organizers, and perpetrators are from the Ukrainian special intelligence.
Putin had underlined that the Ukrainian special services authorized and carried out the explosion on the Crimean Bridge, which was a terrorist attack aimed at destroying Russia's essential infrastructure.
Moreover, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that the terrorist attack carried out on the Crimean Bridge was organized by the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense.
The FSB released a statement saying that "it has been established that the organizer of the terrorist attack on the Crimean bridge was the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, its head Kyrylo Budanov, employees and agents."
That was not the first time the Kerch Bridge has been targeted. Just this month, the bridge suffered another attack, but Malyuk refrained from commenting on the perpetrators of this latest incident.
Two people were killed and a child was injured in an "emergency" incident that took place on the Crimean Bridge while traffic was halted awaiting damage repairs.
The head of the Republic of Crimea accused on his Telegram page the "terrorist regime" in Kiev of being behind the event, which authorities called an "emergency incident" after explosions were heard in the morning.
Anonymous sources told AFP that the Ukrainian domestic security agency and navy were behind the incident at the Crimean Bridge
Suspilne and Ukrainska Pravda, both Ukrainian state broadcasters, also provided little specifics about an operation they alleged involved the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the navy, although Suspilne reported its sources as stating the bridge was struck using underwater drones.
Suspilne quoted a navy spokesperson as saying he had no such information and urging the broadcaster to wait for official announcements. Ukrainian officials did not immediately comment on the incident.
The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson said that the "Kiev terrorist regime is behind the attack on the Crimean Bridge," adding that the "decision to attack the Crimean Bridge was made by Ukrainian officials, military with the participation of US, UK special services."